This is the Hebrew Wikipedia entry about the ship Exodus, which attempted to break the British blockade of Palestinians while filled with Holocaust survivors and others seeking a new life in freedom after suffering under the boot of Nazi tyranny:
At 2:30AM on July 18, 1947, a half day before the Exodus was scheduled to reach the shores of the land of Israel, it was rammed by British destroyers. At the time it was 20 miles from the port of Jaffa. The British succeeded in getting 50 soldiers on board in the midst of smoke bombs and tear gas grenades in order to capture the pilothouse. This plan failed because the ship’s captain piloted it from a second pilot house. The British were met with weapons prepared in advance and [the ship’s passengers] opened fire. After a fierce struggle that resulted in three deaths including the first mate and tens of wounded, the ship’s captain, Yossi Harel, surrendered and the ship was brought to Haifa, where the passengers were forcibly boarded onto vessels and deported.
The N.Y. Times’ Lede Blog notes that the incident with the Exodus helped rally the sympathy of the world for the budding Jewish state and eventually led the British to end their Mandate. Israel’s attack on the flotilla could play perhaps a smaller, but similar role–especially if it helps end the notorious Gaza siege.
It seems that when the blockade runners are Jews fleeing Nazism, Israel sympathizes. But when the blockade runners are supporting the freedom of Gazans, it’s a horse of a different color. I wonder why?
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- Echoes of Raid on ‘Exodus’ Ship in 1947 (thelede.blogs.nytimes.com)